My Review of The Imperial Stars

The Imperial Stars (Family d'Alembert, #1)

The Imperial Stars by E.E. “Doc” Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first in a 10 novel series which was mostly written by Stephen Goldin. Doc Smith wrote a novella called Imperial Stars which Goldin expanded into this novel, and then Goldin wrote another 9 novels in a long story arc. But Smith is the famous one, so his name appears in large letters everywhere and Goldin is barely mentioned.

The setting is a universe where a Russian Feudal system has somehow become the dominant mode of government and of the language, so we see Russian words sprinkled throughout the conversations. Humanity has spread to a number of planets with varying characteristics. One of these is DesPlaines, a high gravity planet whose inhabitants have adapted by becoming shorter and stockier, and which has developed a unique attraction, The Circus of the Galaxy. What people don’t know is that this circus is also a key part of the secret service SOTE, the Service Of The Empire. This allows for an interesting twist for space opera, a series where the heroes do not have secret weapons or super powers, merely acrobatic training.

In this opening novel the threat they deal with is a pretender to the throne who is plotting to take over via a coup. Jules and Yvette d’Alembert, top agents of SOTE, must get to the bottom and stop this plot. The book is fast-paced and a good combination of space opera with spy thriller.

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